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Do you speak their language?

 
 
Render
 
Reply Mon 17 May, 2010 11:25 pm
Because if everyone truly spoke the same language, wouldn't argument and disagreement be impossible?
So why do some people try so hard to convince other people of their philosophical idea's when their concepts will always be interpreted differently than they had intended?
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kennethamy
 
  1  
Reply Mon 17 May, 2010 11:30 pm
@Render,
Render;165564 wrote:
Because if everyone truly spoke the same language, wouldn't argument and disagreement be impossible?


No, not at all. Since disagreement can occur about the facts. I can speak the same language as you, but we can disagree about whether the world is round or flat, can't we? In fact, that is exactly what happened.
Render
 
  1  
Reply Mon 17 May, 2010 11:44 pm
@kennethamy,
kennethamy;165568 wrote:
No, not at all. Since disagreement can occur about the facts. I can speak the same language as you, but we can disagree about whether the world is round or flat, can't we? In fact, that is exactly what happened.

But can language exist based on just facts alone? And aren't the facts not accepted truths for one of the people disagreeing? So are they really facts, because facts mean "set", and if somethings could be subject to interpretation then how could others be "set". Or does conversation always need to have an agreement on something.
kennethamy
 
  1  
Reply Mon 17 May, 2010 11:48 pm
@Render,
Render;165582 wrote:
But can language exist based on just facts alone? .


I am not sure what that question means, but I am sure that it is a very different question from the one you originally asked. Isn't it obvious that we can agree on language, but disagree about the facts? Although, of course, it is true that agreement requires both agreement about language and facts.
Deckard
 
  1  
Reply Tue 18 May, 2010 12:04 am
@kennethamy,
I'll mention the tower of Babel because it is one of the more useful myths. Before the tower fell we can imagine that everyone spoke the same language and I mean truly spoke the same language. There was no disagreement about what words meant. So disagreements about what one was saying, or what it meant to say this or that, were not an issue, were not even conceivable. But this does not mean that this ancient people were not sometimes mistaken about the facts or never lied about the facts.

Aesthetic judgments offer another interesting case for disagreements.

For example: suppose Nimrod thought that blue was the most beautiful color while Abraham thought that orange was the most beautiful color. Both would be certain that each meant the same thing by calling their preferred color "the most beautiful" and both would be certain as to what each meant by "blue" and "orange". And yet they disagreed.
kennethamy
 
  1  
Reply Tue 18 May, 2010 12:38 am
@Deckard,
Deckard;165591 wrote:
I'll mention the tower of Babel because it is one of the more useful myths. Before the tower fell we can imagine that everyone spoke the same language and I mean truly spoke the same language. There was no disagreement about what words meant. So disagreements about what one was saying, or what it meant to say this or that, were not an issue, were not even conceivable. But this does not mean that this ancient people were not sometimes mistaken about the facts or never lied about the facts.

Aesthetic judgments offer another interesting case for disagreements.

For example: suppose Nimrod thought that blue was the most beautiful color while Abraham thought that orange was the most beautiful color. Both would be certain that each meant the same thing by calling their preferred color "the most beautiful" and both would be certain as to what each meant by "blue" and "orange". And yet they disagreed.


The Nature of Ethical Disagreement
Charles L. Stevenson *
When people disagree about the
value of something -- one saying that it
is good or right, and another that it is
bad or wrong--by what methods of
argument or inquiry can their disagree-
ment be resolved? Can it be resolved by
the methods of science, or does it re-
quire methods of some other kind, or
is it open to no rational solution at all?
The question must be clarified be-
fore it can be answered. And the word
that is particularly in need of clarifica-
tion, as we shall see, is the word "dis-
agreement."
Let us begin by noting that "dis-
agreement" has two broad senses: In
the first sense it refers to what I shall
call "disagreement in belief." This oc-
curs when Mr. A believes p, when Mr.
B believes not-p, or something incom-
patible with p, and when neither is
content to let the belief of the other re-
main unchallenged. Thus doctors may
disagree in belief about the causes of an
illness; and friends may disagree in
belief about the exact date on which
they last met.
In the second sense, the word refers
to what I shall call "disagreement in
attitude." This occurs when Mr. A has
a favorable attitude to something, when
Mr. B has an unfavorable or less favor-
able attitude to it, and when neither is
content to let the other's attitude re-
main unchanged. The term "attitude"
is here used in much the same sense
that R. B. Perry uses "interest"; it
designates any psychological disposition
of being for or against something.
Hence love and hate are relatively spe-
cific kinds of attitudes, as are approval
and disapproval, and so on.
This second sense can be illustrated
in this way: Two men are planning to
have dinner together. One is particu-
larly anxious to eat at a certain restau-
rant, but the other doesn't like it. Tem-
porarily, then, the men cannot "agree"
on where to dine. Their argument may
be trivial, and perhaps only half seri-
ous; but in any case it represents a dis-
agreement in attitude. The men have
divergent preferences, and each is try-
ing to redirect the preference of the
other.
Further examples are readily found.
Mrs. Smith wishes to cultivate only the
four hundred; Mr. Smith is loyal to his
old poker-playing friends. They accord-
ingly disagree, in attitude, about whom
to invite to their party. The progressive
mayor wants modern school-buildings
and large parks; the older citizens are
against these "new-fangled" ways; so
they disagree on civic policy. These
cases differ from the one about the
restaurant only in that the clash of atti-
tudes is more serious, and may lead to
more vigorous argument.
The difference between the two
senses of "disagreement" is essentially
this: the first involves an opposition of
beliefs, both of which cannot be true,
____________________
* Reprinted by permission from Readings
in Philosophical Analysis
, ed. Herbert Feigl
and Wilfrid Sellars ( New York: Appleton-
Century-Crofts, Inc., 1949), pp. 587-593.
Deckard
 
  1  
Reply Tue 18 May, 2010 12:49 am
@kennethamy,
Two kinds of disagreement. Disagreement related to belief and disagreement related to attitude.

With reference to the op: Where do disagreements resulting from a lack of common language fall? (And when I say common language I don't mean like one person speaks French and the other person speaks Japanese. Hmmm... Are such conflicts really just misunderstandings? Not really disagreements at all?

So I might restate your question Render as follows:

If everyone truly spoke the same language, wouldn't misunderstanding be impossible?

To which I would answer: Yes.
Reconstructo
 
  1  
Reply Tue 18 May, 2010 12:58 am
@Deckard,
Deckard;165608 wrote:

If everyone truly spoke the same language, wouldn't misunderstanding be impossible?

To which I would answer: Yes.


I agree. It also seems to me that for two people to speak the same language in the fullest sense of the phrase, they would have to be the same person.

Somehow we learn to apply the same abstractions (as well as we can) to our different experiences of "life." (A deceptively monosyllabic abstraction.)

To what degree is each human's experience of life as different as a fingerprint? And yet our relatively successful language use indicates more than a little similarity in our conceptualizing of this experience.
0 Replies
 
kennethamy
 
  1  
Reply Tue 18 May, 2010 01:00 am
@Deckard,
Deckard;165608 wrote:
Two kinds of disagreement. Disagreement related to belief and disagreement related to attitude.

With reference to the op: Where do disagreements resulting from a lack of common language fall? (And when I say common language I don't mean like one person speaks French and the other person speaks Japanese. Hmmm... Are such conflicts really just misunderstandings? Not really disagreements at all?

So I might restate your question Render as follows:

If everyone truly spoke the same language, wouldn't misunderstanding be impossible?

To which I would answer: Yes.


Why would that be your answer? I thought you gave decisive reasons for a no answer. Why would you think that if one person thinks that the capital of Ecuador is Quito, and another that the capital is La Paz, that would just be a misunderstanding? It would be a clear disagreement of belief (fact). One would be right, and the other wrong. End of story.
Deckard
 
  1  
Reply Tue 18 May, 2010 01:13 am
@kennethamy,
kennethamy;165616 wrote:
Why would that be your answer? I thought you gave decisive reasons for a no answer. Why would you think that if one person thinks that the capital of Ecuador is Quito, and another that the capital is La Paz, that would just be a misunderstanding? It would be a clear disagreement of belief (fact). One would be right, and the other wrong. End of story.

You are correct. "Misunderstanding" is not specific enough and simply the wrong word to use here.

So I will restate Render's question again:

If everyone truly spoke the same language, wouldn't mistranslation be impossible?

I say: Yes

There is almost a need for another word. "Mistranslation" denotes usually only a mistranslation between established languages like Spanish and Russian and only rarely and almost metaphorically does "mistranslation" denote mistranslation within an established language such as happens between different jargons and slangs and more minute linguistic differences at the intrapersonal level. Nevertheless "mistranslation" is greatly preferable to "misunderstanding".
wayne
 
  1  
Reply Tue 18 May, 2010 01:41 am
@Deckard,
Deckard;165629 wrote:
You are correct. "Misunderstanding" is not specific enough and simply the wrong word to use here.

So I will restate Render's question again:

If everyone truly spoke the same language, wouldn't mistranslation be impossible?

I say: Yes

There is almost a need for another word. "Mistranslation" denotes usually only a mistranslation between established languages like Spanish and Russian and only rarely and almost metaphorically does "mistranslation" denote mistranslation within an established language such as happens between different jargons and slangs and more minute linguistic differences at the intrapersonal level. Nevertheless "mistranslation" is greatly preferable to "misunderstanding".


It does appear there be need for another word in this circumstance. If everyone truly spoke the same language there would be no translation, of course the problem would then be one of interpretation.
Translaters were once refered to as interpreters, in which case a misinterpretation would result in a mistranslation, which would occur at the level of slang and jargon as well.
Deckard
 
  1  
Reply Tue 18 May, 2010 01:53 am
@wayne,
wayne;165639 wrote:
It does appear there be need for another word in this circumstance. If everyone truly spoke the same language there would be no translation, of course the problem would then be one of interpretation.
Translaters were once refered to as interpreters, in which case a misinterpretation would result in a mistranslation, which would occur at the level of slang and jargon as well.


Yes! "Misinterpretation" is the better word.

If everyone truly spoke the same language/jargon/slang, wouldn't misinterpretation would be impossible?

To which I answer: Yes
wayne
 
  1  
Reply Tue 18 May, 2010 02:02 am
@Deckard,
Deckard;165642 wrote:
Yes! "Misinterpretation" is the better word.

If everyone truly spoke the same language/jargon/slang, wouldn't misinterpretation would be impossible?

To which I answer: Yes


I'm not so sure it would be impossible, doesn't interpretation depend a lot on our perspective and perceptions?
Of course I am not clear exactly what is to be meant by truly speaking the same language, is that to mean a universal understanding included?

And if that is so, wouldn't that mean we would all need to have the same experiences from the same perspective?
Deckard
 
  1  
Reply Tue 18 May, 2010 02:46 am
@wayne,
wayne;165645 wrote:
I'm not so sure it would be impossible, doesn't interpretation depend a lot on our perspective and perceptions?
Of course I am not clear exactly what is to be meant by truly speaking the same language, is that to mean a universal understanding included?

And if that is so, wouldn't that mean we would all need to have the same experiences from the same perspective?


Our understanding of language is acquired through experience and this experience affects language denotatively and conotatively but I think the spirit of the OP is that all such differences would be eliminated though we all may very well have very different experiences.

Suppose we all have input jacks in the backs of our head and download the exact same language fed directly into the language centers of our brains... perhaps the dictionary is constantly updated via a wireless internet connection... but this is stopping well short of a hive mind where everyone can hear everyone's thoughts... just the words mean the same thing for everyone... no one knows what anyone else is thinking until words are actually spoken out loud.
wayne
 
  1  
Reply Tue 18 May, 2010 03:00 am
@Deckard,
Deckard;165660 wrote:
Our understanding of language is acquired through experience and this experience affects language denotatively and conotatively but I think the spirit of the OP is that all such differences would be eliminated though we all may very well have very different experiences.

Suppose we all have input jacks in the backs of our head and download the exact same language fed directly into the language centers of our brains... perhaps the dictionary is constantly updated via a wireless internet connection... but this is stopping well short of a hive mind where everyone can hear everyone's thoughts... just the words mean the same thing for everyone... no one knows what anyone else is thinking until words are actually spoken out loud.


LOL, I think they are working on that technology right now.
We'll probably end up like the Borg.
But anyway, under those conditions I think you're right ,that mis interpretation would be imposssible, it would sure ruin the plot scheme for all the sitcoms though. Smile
0 Replies
 
kennethamy
 
  1  
Reply Tue 18 May, 2010 07:51 am
@Deckard,
Deckard;165629 wrote:
You are correct. "Misunderstanding" is not specific enough and simply the wrong word to use here.

So I will restate Render's question again:

If everyone truly spoke the same language, wouldn't mistranslation be impossible?

I say: Yes

There is almost a need for another word. "Mistranslation" denotes usually only a mistranslation between established languages like Spanish and Russian and only rarely and almost metaphorically does "mistranslation" denote mistranslation within an established language such as happens between different jargons and slangs and more minute linguistic differences at the intrapersonal level. Nevertheless "mistranslation" is greatly preferable to "misunderstanding".


Why would translation be needed if everyone spoke the same language? You have lost me.
GoshisDead
 
  1  
Reply Tue 18 May, 2010 10:46 am
@kennethamy,
Current Cognitive Linguisitc studies demonstrate that vocabulary is processed with a prototypical schema, that has categories and subcategories that overlap with other prototypical schemas with their categopries and subcategories. Every referent has a generally accepted prototype (thing-ness) or (attribute-ness) or (action-ness) whatever. Categories and subcategories can be hierarchically more or less specific than the prototype. So what we have visually represented, imagine a super complex ven diagram with a large prototype circle and various categorical circles inside it overlapping each other and extending past the prototypical circle into other large protypical circles etc... It would be highly improbable that every word spoken by one would fall in the same place on the ven diagram as the word interpreted by the listener. This does not mean that communication is futile, after all both parties still process the (thing-ness) of the word, however in complex arguments it becomes ever more important to pinpoint the vocabulary to a fixed position using modifiers and such to keep from having misunderstandings. The problem is that humans just don't have the time and normally don;t have the need to take the effort to pinpoint these things.
kennethamy
 
  1  
Reply Tue 18 May, 2010 11:03 am
@GoshisDead,
GoshisDead;165788 wrote:
Current Cognitive Linguisitc studies demonstrate that vocabulary is processed with a prototypical schema, that has categories and subcategories that overlap with other prototypical schemas with their categopries and subcategories. Every referent has a generally accepted prototype (thing-ness) or (attribute-ness) or (action-ness) whatever. Categories and subcategories can be hierarchically more or less specific than the prototype. So what we have visually represented, imagine a super complex ven diagram with a large prototype circle and various categorical circles inside it overlapping each other and extending past the prototypical circle into other large protypical circles etc... It would be highly improbable that every word spoken by one would fall in the same place on the ven diagram as the word interpreted by the listener. This does not mean that communication is futile, after all both parties still process the (thing-ness) of the word, however in complex arguments it becomes ever more important to pinpoint the vocabulary to a fixed position using modifiers and such to keep from having misunderstandings. The problem is that humans just don't have the time and normally don;t have the need to take the effort to pinpoint these things.


Translation please.
GoshisDead
 
  1  
Reply Tue 18 May, 2010 11:39 am
@kennethamy,
Super simplified visual

ven on Flickr - Photo Sharing!
0 Replies
 
Zetherin
 
  1  
Reply Tue 18 May, 2010 11:50 am
@Render,
Render;165564 wrote:
Because if everyone truly spoke the same language, wouldn't argument and disagreement be impossible?


Why do you say this? How do you explain why I argue with people who speak my language?

Quote:
So why do some people try so hard to convince other people of their philosophical idea's when their concepts will always be interpreted differently than they had intended?


Why do you say that? What makes you think my idea will always be interpreted differently than what I intend?
0 Replies
 
 

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